The Sunday Class
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This dance is inscribed for Jennifer Wilson of Elgin and the recommended tune is "Sord Colmeille" (St. Columba's Sword). The music used by the Ontario clubs is the same as for Blooms of Bon Accord - possibly as it is a 4x32 bars reel with two chords! Scottish history has its fair share of deeply unpleasant characters, but Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan, Lord of Badenoch, is a strong contender for the title of Least Pleasant. Alexander Stewart abused his power and maintained a rule of terror across much of the Highlands by imprisoning and murdering those who offended him and pillaging the countryside. Alexander Stewart, born in 1343, was the 4th illegitimate son of the future King Robert II of Scotland and of Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan, but became legitimated in 1349 upon his parents' marriage. He was also the younger brother of the future Robert III. The times in which he lived were barbarous, but even by their standards he stood out, and was feared over a considerable distance. Alexander married Eupheme de Ross, Countess of Ross in July 1382. They had no children: a fact that Alexander blamed on his wife (and, to be fair, as he fathered around 40 illegitimate children by a large number of different women, he was probably right). In 1389 Alexander sought the intervention of the Bishop of Moray to bring his marriage to an end. The Bishop came down on the side of Eupheme, and when Alexander then expelled her to make way for his current mistress, Mariota Athyn, he was excommunicated by the Bishop of Moray. It was Alexander's response to his excommunication that resulted in his label as the Wolf of Badenoch. First, the monk who came to Lochindorb castle with the news of Alexander's excommunication was consigned to the castle's bottle pit. Many Scottish castles had these deep unpleasant dungeons accessible only by a trap door in the roof. Not many could also boast three feet of water covering the floor because of their island location. Then, in May 1390, Alexander descended on Moray at the head of a large number of “wild, wykked Hieland- men”. Alexander sacked the town of Forres, before heading east, destroying Pluscarden Abbey en route to Elgin where he arrived on 17 June 1390. Here he burned much of the town and destroyed Elgin Cathedral, the second largest cathedral in Scotland, widely known as the Lantern of the North. Alexander's older brother, Robert III, who had only just succeeded to the throne and had yet to be crowned, called upon him to do penance for his crimes and pay significant reparations: then pardoned him. Whether the Wolf of Badenoch's attack on Moray had simply been a case of getting even with the Bishop: or whether it was in reality intended to be the start of a power play for Scotland more widely, immediately after the death of his father Robert II, is a matter of debate among historians. No-one for a moment, however, believes that he was truly repentant afterwards. Legend has it that The Wolf of Badenoch died on 24th July 1394 (although others maintain it was in 1406) when he had been visited at Ruthven Castle by a tall man, dressed all in black. The man wished to play a game of chess with the Wolf which lasted several hours until the tall, darkly dressed man moved a piece, called ‘check’ and then ‘checkmate’ and rose from the table.  On calling these words, there was a terrible storm of thunder, hail and lightening. The storm continued through the night until the morning. In the morning silence, Wolf's men were discovered outside the castle walls, dead and blackened as if they had all been struck by the lightening. The Wolf was found in the banqueting hall, and although his body appeared unmarked, the nails in his boots had all been torn out. The funeral procession was held two days later, led by the Wolf's coffin. Terrible storms started over and over again as the coffins were added to the procession and only when the Wolf's coffin was carried to the back of the procession did the storms cease and not return. Such, it would seem, are the perils of playing chess with the Devil. The Wolf of Badenoch was buried in Dunkeld Cathedral, where his tomb, topped by an effigy in armour, is one of the few Scottish royal monuments to have survived from the Middle Ages.
WOLF'S RETURN TO BADENOCH (R4x32) John Drewry  Canadian Book 3s & 4s on opposite sides  1- 8 All set, cross RH, set, cross back RH  9-16 1s+2s also 3s+4s dance double Fig of 8 (1s & 4s crossing down/up to start) 17-24 1s & 4s ½ turn RH moving down/up & face up/down while 2s & 3s dance to ends & face 1s/4s, all set, 1s+2s & 3s+4s dance RH across 25-32 1s & 4s dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s/3s, 1s+4s dance ½ R&L 2 4 1 3 Note: When leading out in 2nd & 3rd positions during the double figure of eight (bars 9-16), 1st & 4th couples, and 2nd & 3rd couples can join hands very briefly with the other man or woman.
Taught/practised on: 2012 April 1st May 13th
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